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Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 283 pages of information about Babylonian and Assyrian Literature.

“I dreamed upon my dum-khi[9] fast asleep,
The stars from heaven fell from yonder deep
To earth; and one, with fierceful heat my back
Did pierce as molten fire, and left its track
Of flames like some huge ball along my spine;
And then transformed, it turned its face to mine;
As some fierce god it glowed before my sight
Till agony was lost in dread affright. 
I rooted stood, in terror, for its face
Was horrible; I saw in its feet’s place
A lion’s claws.  It sprang, my strength it broke,
And slew me, gloating over me!  Awoke,
I sprang, methought I was a corpse ka-ra
Va tal-ka mat sar, talka bu-la sha
Ra-pas-ti sat-ti, ar-id-da! ka-rat
Va hal-li-ka! lik-ru-bu ki-mi-ta!
[10]”
The seers in silence stand, perplexed and think;
But from the task at once the wisest shrink.

The King each face soon read: 

“Ye tell me no?”
And nodding all, concealed from him their woe,
For they beheld within the dream some fate
Impending o’er him born of godly hate,
And durst not to their monarch prate their fears,
For flatterers of kings are all his seers. 
The King impatient eyed them all with scorn,
And hid his thoughts by wildest passions born;
And then at last contemptuous to them said,
“So all my seers of trouble are afraid? 
Or else in ignorance you turn away;
’Tis well!  I sorely need a seer this day.” 
And they now prostrate fall before his throne,
“Forgive thy seers!” one cries, “O mighty One! 
For we this dreadful dream do fear portends
Thy harm! a god some message to thee sends! 
We know not what, but fear for thee, our Sar,
And none but one can augur it; afar
He lives, Heabani should before the King
Be brought from Za-Ga-bri[11] the na-bu[12] bring!”
“’Tis well!  Prince Zaidu for the hermit send,
And soon this mystery your Sar will end.” 
The King distressed now to the temple goes
To lay before the mighty gods his woes;
This prayer recites to drive away bad dreams,
While Samas’ holy altar brightly gleams: 
[13] “O Samas! may my prayer bring me sweet rest,
And may my Lord his favor grant to me: 
Annihilate the things that me invest! 
This day, O God! distressed, I cry to thee! 
O goddess! be thou gracious unto me,
Receive my prayer, my sins forgive I pray: 
My wickedness and will arrayed ’gainst thee. 
Oh, pardon me!  O God, be kind this day,
My groaning may the seven winds destroy,
Clothe me with deep humility! receive
My prayers, as winged birds, oh, may they fly
And fishes carry them, and rivers weave
Them in the waters on to thee, O God! 
As creeping things of the vast desert, cry
I unto thee outstretched on Erech’s sod;
And from the river’s lowest depths I pray;
My heart cause thou to shine like polished gold,
Though food and drink of Nin-a-zu[14] this day
Be mine, while worms and death thy servant fold. 

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